Yannis Gaïtis (Greek, 1923-1984) Les Mecs 130 x 162 cm.

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Lot 68AR
Yannis Gaïtis
(Greek, 1923-1984)
Les Mecs 130 x 162 cm.

Sold for £ 43,750 (US$ 58,336) inc. premium
Yannis Gaïtis (Greek, 1923-1984)
Les Mecs
signed 'Gaitis' (lower right)
oil on canvas
130 x 162 cm.

Footnotes

  • Painted in 1967.

    Provenance
    Private collection, Athens.

    Exhibited
    Rome, Schneider gallery, Gaitis, April 20 - May 4, 1968 (illustrated in the exhibition catalogue, no. 6)
    Venice, Il Traghetto gallery, Gaitis, July 1-10, 1968.
    Como, Italy, Il Salotto gallery, Gaitis, March 5-18, 1969.
    Rome, Schneider gallery, Gaitis, April 23 - May 16, 1970.
    Athens, National Gallery and Alexander Soutzos Museum, Yannis Gaitis, July 16 - September 30, 1984.
    Lefkas island, Lefkas Cultural Centre, Yannis Gaitis, August 2-22, 1999.

    Literature
    Giuseppe Marchioni, Gaitis, Galerie Schneider Publication, 1968.
    Yannis Gaitis, Catalogue Raisonné, Ioannis F. Costopoulos Foundation, Athens 2003, no. 934, p. 240 (illustrated).
    All and Alone: Yannis Gaitis 1923-1984, Exhibition catalogue, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art - Ioannis F. Costopoulos Foundation, Thessaloniki 2008, p. 25 (illustrated).
    D. Zacharopoulos, Yannis Gaitis, the Subversive, Contemporary Greek Artists series, Ta Nea editions, Athens, p. 66 (illustrated).


    Painted in 1968, a year that marked a decisive turning point in Gaitis's career, Les mecs represents a wonderful blend of surrealist wit and expressionist distortion with pop art's colourful imagery, while showcasing the emergence of the stereotypical human figure as the artist's signature ideogram. Posing as spectators of a motor race and flanking the scene on the right and left sides of the canvas, Gaitis's enigmatic, motionless and hieratic 'little men', which rank among the most cogent and enduring images of Modern Greek art, capture the spirit of the nascent age of automation and global uniformity, alluding either to the eventual loss of individual identity or to a quest for a universal code of communication and understanding.
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